For many of us, stone engenders a deep love within. There is a kinship, a sense of family, and a connection to the earth below that arises when we meet stone. I always feel a deep sense of home when I work with stone. It commands my full attention and presence and when I don’t show up, I come away with bruised appendages and ego. I feel that stone welcomes our thoughts and ideas when we want to create with it. Stone can make us harder and more aggressive but equally can respond by softening and flowing when you let it in.
For many people who have worked with stone, you know what I am talking about. Stone is an unforgiving teacher. Stone will become enlivened with your passion, your love, your truth, your existence, and will harden with your anger, your frustration, your hate, your aggression. It is a mirror in the present moment. We have a saying when we are working, “When the spirit leaves you, it’s time to go home”. It is an acknowledgment that when you cannot bring your whole self to your work, the work will suffer, and you will suffer along with it. It is not a hard and fast rule, but one that we generally uphold as good practice.
Some days I come to work and everything flows. I swing the hammer with effortless grace, connecting with the chisel or stone, the energy of the swing transferring into the exact cut I was intending. These are days when every stone I place my hands on fits into the wall with the barest effort. As I look through the pile to select a stone, the right stone will call out to me, and it will fit in the perfect place. These days don’t come every day (so far), but when they do, I have learned to treasure them, and to ride that wave for as long as I can. It is in this experience of flow where I find connection to my work and myself. This is where the apparent lines we draw, dissolve, and the worlds bleed through. It is where the beauty that we create and the beauty that we are, meet. This is where stone is my greatest teacher.